Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Amongst friends

Last week, I was proud to show Jamie off to anyone remotely interested. But two stop-offs last Friday teatime gave me special pleasure.

First was a short drop-by with the Fitzpatricks. Regular readers have met Sean and Melanie before - he the Police Detective Inspector who likes to dress up as a fairy; she his long-suffering wife and sometime leprechaun.

Vanessa and I had been out with the pair of them the previous night. Indeed, my head still hasn't fully recovered from the experience - but Guinness definitely is better back home.

Sean doesn't do babies - as his body language above clearly and deliberately demonstrates - but it doesn't stop him looking like a giant one himself.

And, pictured below, is Geoff and Karen Walls together with their gorgeous five-year-old daughter Ellen.

Like Sean, Geoff and I first met at school almost exactly 25 years ago. Until he met the lovely Karen, Geoff needed a bit of taming - and she was certainly the girl for this.

Unfortunately, with happiness, came adversity when, just hours before baby Ellen was born in 2003, Karen was found to have a very large malignant tumour in her bowel. She was taken immediately into theatre to have this removed, returning again within hours for a second procedure which led to Ellen's premature birth.

As Geoff said to me afterwards, "at one point I thought I was going to lose both my girls."

Due to the determination and incredible bravery of both Karen and Geoff, things began to look up and a wedding date was set - only for everything to go back on hold when a secondary tumour was found on Karen's liver.

But, typical of the pair, they battled on and beat that too.

Last week, Karen was at home recuperating after the reversal operation on her bowel a few days earlier. And, as you can see, the three of them are looking good (Geoff will tell you he always looks good) and ready to finally move on with their lives.

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